Teagasc makes it easier for dairy farmers to employ staff

Teagasc has eased some of the burden faced by dairy farmers when it comes to employing staff with the publication of its ‘Best Practice in Recruiting and Managing Employees’ manual.

The manual, which responds to the issue of the labour shortage facing the Irish dairy industry, was launched in the Horse and Jockey, Co. Tipperary today at the ‘Managing Labour on your Dairy Farm’ conference.

The Irish dairy industry has undergone considerable growth in recent years and, as a result, additional people are needed to work on Irish dairy farms.

It’s estimated that 2,300 full-time labour units will be required by Irish dairy farmers over the next eight years and the document goes a long way in addressing some of the worries and questions that potential employers may have.

The organiser of the conference, Teagasc’s Pat Clarke, said: “Moorepark’s analysis of the dairying sector shows that the industry will need additional people working in dairy in the future.

“This will require dairy farmers to develop their systems and skills to deal with this new scenario for their farms,” the dairy specialist said.

 The Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc, Tom O’Dwyer, also spoke at the conference. He said: “There is a lot of preparation that needs to be done in advance of employing a person.

Employers need to be clear on the type of person they require and that they can afford them.

“They must also be familiar with the legislation regarding employing and health and safety issues on-farm,” he said.

A key feature of the manual, which was published by Teagasc in collaboration with the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), is that it provides detailed information on all aspects of employing people.

At the launch, Prof. Gerry Boyle said: “This manual is a significant team project which brings together the expertise of front-line advisors, educators, human resources personnel and researchers across Teagasc.

“Contributions from commercial dairy farmers and the Workplace Relations Commission further enhance this highly practical publication,” he said.